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Articles tagged #Hayward Field
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ALMOST READY TO WELCOME YOU BACK!

Track and Field fans in Eugene and around the world,

I write to you today during one of the most unprecedented times in our history. I have found myself in deep reflection on how we can come together as a nation to love and support each other. Through all of this unrest, we have hope in the future and the opportunities that will inevitably come.

I've been so impressed with our student-athletes and how they have responded to adversity over the last few months. From adjusting to a new virtual academic environment and social distancing to using their voices to speak out on social injustices, I have been very proud.

The past few months have been challenging to say the least, and our attention and thoughts have been pulled in so many directions lately, but I did want to provide a bit of an update on Hayward Field.

It is almost ready to welcome you back!

The flags of 156 nations found their place next to the stadium representing every country that had a senior-level athlete compete at Historic Hayward Field between 1921 and 2018. Also, responsibility for the stadium has been handed over from the construction team to the University of Oregon and the UO Track and Field team.

But before we can open the gates to you, we've got a couple of hurdles to clear.

First things first. Our athletes deserve to have their 'Christmas morning' moment before everyone else gets to see how magnificent their training areas and team facilities are. After all, the team has been without a home for two years, and at this point, a majority of the athletes have never experienced the Hayward Magic competing as a Duck. My staff and I are truly looking forward to the team opening this incredible gift when they arrive on campus in September.

As you've probably seen through social media, we've been able to reveal and share the public spaces inside the bowl of the stadium. Still, there are areas we want to reserve for our athletes when we finally get to welcome them back to Hayward Field.

Last week, we were able to have a special Hayward moment with Ashton and Brianne along with their son Ander and Ashton's mom, Roz. It was a chance to have a smaller group together and celebrate what they have meant to this program. We hope to create similar moments with other Oregon Track and Field icons.

We also eagerly await the time when Governor Brown and state health officials are able to relax restrictions on large gatherings, which are currently in place through September. If circumstances allow for opening the stadium to you in the fall, rest assured, we will do so but we have to make sure it is a safe and healthy experience for everyone.

In the meantime, there will still be lots of construction activity going on and the construction fencing will remain in place. Punch lists will be completed and equipment will be moved in.

I encourage you to follow our social media channels and regularly check in on the Hayward Field page on the University's website. We will do our best to keep you updated of any new developments over the course of the summer and, ultimately, our plans for welcoming you all to Hayward Field.

Thank you, Hayward faithful. Can't wait to see you!

(07/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Wanda Diamond League announces updates to 2020 calendar

The Wanda Diamond League today announced further alterations to its provisional 2020 calendar, with the cancellation of two meetings and a further event pushed back until September.

The Meeting de Paris, provisionally scheduled for 6 September, will not take place this season. Following the latest government announcements on the organisation of major events in France, meeting organisers concluded that there is not enough time to organise a world-class international event in the French capital this year.

Paris’s well-loved Wanda Diamond League meeting will return in August 2021, at a time when it is able once again to mobilise volunteers and welcome international stars.

In Eugene, the 2020 Prefontaine Classic has also been cancelled. The state of Oregon currently has a ban on large gatherings - including sporting events - and that restriction will be in place until at least the end of September. The ban, combined with the expected long term restrictions on international travel, make it impossible to host a world class track & field meet in front of the Hayward Field faithful on 4 October.

The Prefontaine Classic is to return in 2021 and provide the opportunity for the University of Oregon to properly introduce the new Hayward Field to track & field fans around the world.

Discussions are still ongoing in relation to the Muller Grand Prix Gateshead which is no longer scheduled for 16 August. 12 September has been identified as a possible alternative date, however final confirmation cannot be given at this time due to UK Government guidelines and restrictions.

Due to the ongoing global health situation and ever-changing regulations, the 2020 Wanda Diamond League calendar remains provisional and subject to further changes.

The meeting organisers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics remain committed to staging competitions athletes can compete in and fans can enjoy as far as the global pandemic allows.

The 2020 Wanda Diamond League will not be a structured series of events leading to a final as is usually the case. Athletes will therefore not earn Diamond League points this season, and there will not be a single, 24-discipline final in Zurich as originally planned.

Click here for the latest version of the 2020 calendar.

(06/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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With Hayward Field’s reconstruction complete, the University of Oregon takes possession

The University of Oregon took formal possession of Hayward Field on Tuesday, bringing to an end a two-year reconstruction project that transformed the well-loved if antiquated UO stadium into one said to be among the best track and field facilities in the world.

Paul Weinhold, president and CEO of the University of Oregon Foundation confirmed the Tuesday handover in a text message on Wednesday.

The campus property that houses the stadium had been leased to the limited liability corporation Hayward Field Enhancement for the length of the privately funded project. The project began in June 2018 and is estimated to have cost more than $200 million.

Weinhold said by text he knew of no immediate plans for a public unveiling of the new Hayward Field, and didn’t anticipate one until fall. The campus remains closed to the general public because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That decision will be a UO Athletics decision,” Weinhold wrote.

Replying Monday by email, UO athletic department spokesman Zach Lawson referred a reporter to the university’s “Hayward Field Renovation” webpage, last updated for the week of June 1.

The original Hayward Field was built as a football stadium in 1919. It has been used for track meets since 1921. It was conceded to be inadequate for many reasons to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, awarded to Eugene in 2015. The meet since has been delayed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers originally had hoped to preserve as much of the historic stadium’s character as possible, including the east grandstand.

But attempts to raise private money for that design foundered. When Nike co-founder Phil Knight, a former UO track athlete, became involved, the original plans were scrapped in favor of a more modern look.

That led to a contentious back and forth between some longtime fans in the community. Hoffman Construction, the firm that handled the project, acted quickly to level the east grandstand less than two weeks after the conclusion of the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the final major event staged at the old Hayward Field.

The permanent seating of the new stadium is listed as 12,650 and expandable to nearly,25.000, making it significantly larger than the previous stadium. The older Hayward Field had a listed seating capacity of 10,500. But a hand count done in 2018 revealed no more than 8,500 seats.

Knight and his wife, Penny, are said to have contributed the lion’s share of the project’s funding.

The new stadium is said to feature a number of spectator upgrades, such as 22-inch seats and unobstructed sight lines.

It also will be used as a training facility for members of the UO track team. Among the enhancements are much larger indoor practice areas, locker rooms, a video room, weight room, treatment rooms, a theater and an area for training aids such as hydrotherapy pools and anti-gravity machines.

Attempts Wednesday to reach UO track coach Robert Johnson and Jimmy Stanton, UO senior associate athletic director for communications, were not immediately successful.

(06/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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The world’s fastest woman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce not ready to retire yet

Like wine, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce gets better, and faster, by the year.

The world’s fastest woman isn’t dismissing the possibility of featuring at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene just yet.

The Jamaican, a mother of one, will be 35 then.

Speaking exclusively with NTV in an interview scheduled to air last night, the nine-time world champion confessed her love for Kenyan athletes. Especially multiple steeplechase world champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, and track queen Vivian Cheruiyot, who has since graduated to the marathon.

Fraser-Pryce would love to end her career “closer home” when Eugene, in the state of Oregon, hosts the global competition in July at a new Hayward Field stadium.

The meet was initially scheduled for next year but was pushed back by a year to give way for the Tokyo Olympic Games that were also postponed by a year owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It would be nice to finish (my career) so close to home where my friends who’ve always found it difficult to travel far can visit… no one thought it would be possible for me to come back from a C-section and win a championship at 32 years old, but I did, so you never know,” she told me on NTV Sport.

“I was very disappointed by the Olympics’ postponement. It’s like a timeline for me to achieve these things… I have a family now that needs me to take precautions so it was a bummer but there are lives at stake and that’s most important,” Fraser-Pryce added.

The 2020 Olympics would have possibly capped off a remarkable 10 months for the “pocket rocket”, who stormed the history books in Doha last year when she won the 100 metres final in a season best time of 10.71 seconds, to become the only athlete to scoop four 100m world championship gold medals.

The achievement was overshadowed by the fact that Fraser-Pryce did it as a new mother.

“I didn’t sleep at all the night before my final in Doha,” she confesses. “I was so anxious because my last championship had been three years before that.”

She skipped the London 2017 championships to have a baby.

Fraser-Pryce counts the 2019 win and her maiden 100m gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as her most memorable victories.

Her latest win in Qatar saw the introduction of her son Zyon to the world, as the Jamaican proudly ran her victory lap with the two-year-old boy in her arms.

“When I first found out I was pregnant I was so skeptical, but I want to show women that having a baby doesn’t have to end your career,” the sprinter says with conviction.

(06/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Idah Waringa
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New dates are set for the 2020 US Olympic Trials

 New dates for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Track & Field are set, USATF announced today. The event will take place June 18–27, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed due to the novel coronavirus, thereby necessitating the postponement of the corresponding Olympic Trials. USATF worked closely with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and TrackTown USA to secure the new dates. 

The competition schedule will remain much the same. While there is a possibility that some of the timings of the competition windows may shift, the events taking place on each day will not change.

The schedule of events can be found here. Existing ticket customers will have their tickets automatically rolled over to the new dates in 2021. Customers who wish to request a refund will be able to do so at TrackTown20.com beginning on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Ticketing policies and procedures for refund requests will also be available at TrackTown20.com on that day. This refund process will remain open for 90 days. The Olympic Trials will be contested in a new, state-of-the-art Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field will be presented across NBC Sports’ numerous platforms. Broadcast information will be released later.

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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After coronavirus forces postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, elite athletes share their sorrow

Former University of Oregon sprinter English Gardner was looking at the big picture when the news broke Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were being postponed for a year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Gardner has a 2016 Olympic gold medal from the Team USA women’s 4x100 relay and big hopes for Tokyo.

But she fully supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers to postpone.

“I’m bigger than track and field,” Gardner said. “I’m part of the community. I’m a human being. I’m a sister. I’m a mother. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a godmother. As a whole world, we’re kind of going through it right now. It’s OK that the Games got postponed because this problem, this illness, this sickness is way bigger than Tokyo.”

Gardner is among the Olympic-level athletes and coaches who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday about the postponement. They shared varying mixtures of relief, resignation, disappointment and hope for the future.

Shortly after the decision about the Olympics became public, the TrackTown USA local organizing committee announced the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field scheduled for June at Hayward Field in Eugene also had been postponed.

In most of the country, athletes are living in various degrees of social isolation as state, regional and municipal governments try to slow the spread of the virus. In many cases it has affected their ability to train.

Maybe worse has been the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds and watching major sporting events be canceled or postponed, one after another. It seemed only a matter of time before the Olympics became the next domino to fall.

“I wasn’t super surprised,” said Shelby Houlihan of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and reigning USA Track & Field outdoor women’s champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters. “I figured it was probably going to happen. But it still kind of sucks.

“Obviously, it was probably for the best because of the situation we’re in. Safety should definitely be the No. 1 priority. But it does suck because I was ready for this year.”

Pete Julian coaches a Nike-sponsored, Portland-based team of elite distance runners who have been gearing up for the Olympics.

Julian’s group includes, among others, U.S. mid-distance stars Donavan Brazier, the 2019 world outdoor champion in the 800 meters, and Craig Engels, German star Konstanze Klosterhalfen and former University of Oregon runner Jessica Hull of Australia.

“I don’t think any of them are happy about the Olympics getting moved,” Julian said. “I think a lot of them feel they’re ready to go and believe they can win medals. They’re sort of kicking the post. They want to race.”

But Julian agrees with the decision to postpone. His message to his runners is they can be better in 2021 than they are now. He believes the Olympics can be too.

“I think Tokyo is one of the few cities in the world that could pull this off without a hitch,” he said. “I don’t think most of us can even imagine the logistical nightmare that this is going to create, and what the IOC and Tokyo will have to work through. But they will be able to do it, and it will be amazing.”

Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s steeplechase. He said he had a strong winter of training and liked his positioning heading into the outdoor season. But he believes this step back can turn to be a bigger step forward.

“Postponing it a year and having the Olympics as that light at the end of the tunnel is going to be a very positive thing to look forward to,” Jager said. “We can come out of this crisis a year from now, and hopefully be healthy. The Olympics can be a celebration of getting out of these dark times.”

Marathoner Galen Rupp said he planned to keep training and keep perspective.

The former University of Oregon star won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s 10,000 meters in 2012 and a bronze in the marathon in 2016. He already had made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team by winning the marathon trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

“The health, safety and well-being of the global population are of the utmost importance and beyond any sporting event,” Rupp said. “Already so many people have gotten sick or died and so many more have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus. We need to listen to the advice of health experts.”

Even if that means going dark in 2020 and waiting a year so the coronavirus can be contained.

Gardner, the former UO sprinter who lives in New Jersey, said training has become difficult because of quarantine containment regulations. She joked she has to get creative to do track workouts because of padlocked facilities.

“I’ve been hopping a lot of fences,” she said. “I’ve been working on my long jump and high jump approaches.”

But turning serious, she said she endorsed the quarantines and social-distancing rules as a way to keep vulnerable family members safe. She said the Olympic postponement would protect athletes and fans.

“I was mostly concerned that we would calm the virus down, we all would go to Tokyo and spur it back up again,” Gardner said.

She said it could hit athlete housing in Tokyo the way an outbreak of the norovirus struck at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships in London.

“We share common eating rooms,” she said. “We all share the same tracks, the same weight rooms, the same hotels. It would just be a matter of time before it spurred back up again.“

(03/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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After postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, elite athletes share sorrow, perspective

Former University of Oregon sprinter English Gardner was looking at the big picture when the news broke Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were being postponed for a year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Gardner has a 2016 Olympic gold medal from the Team USA women’s 4x100 relay and big hopes for Tokyo.

But she fully supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers to postpone.

“I’m bigger than track and field,” Gardner said. “I’m part of the community. I’m a human being. I’m a sister. I’m a mother. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a godmother. As a whole world, we’re kind of going through it right now. It’s OK that the Games got postponed because this problem, this illness, this sickness is way bigger than Tokyo.”

Gardner is among the Olympic-level athletes and coaches who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday about the postponement. They shared varying mixtures of relief, resignation, disappointment and hope for the future.

Shortly after the decision about the Olympics became public, the TrackTown USA local organizing committee announced the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field scheduled for June at Hayward Field in Eugene also had been postponed.

In most of the country, athletes are living in various degrees of social isolation as state, regional and municipal governments try to slow the spread of the virus. In many cases it has affected their ability to train.

Maybe worse has been the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds and watching major sporting events be canceled or postponed, one after another. It seemed only a matter of time before the Olympics became the next domino to fall.

“I wasn’t super surprised,” said Shelby Houlihan of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and reigning USA Track & Field outdoor women’s champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters. “I figured it was probably going to happen. But it still kind of sucks.

“Obviously, it was probably for the best because of the situation we’re in. Safety should definitely be the No. 1 priority. But it does suck because I was ready for this year.”

Marathoner Galen Rupp said he planned to keep training and keep perspective.

The former University of Oregon star won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s 10,000 meters in 2012 and a bronze in the marathon in 2016. He already had made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team by winning the marathon trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s steeplechase. He said he had a strong winter of training and liked his positioning heading into the outdoor season. But he believes this step back can turn to be a bigger step forward.

(03/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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The Prefontaine Classic has suspended ticket sales for the invitational track meet scheduled for June 6-7

The Prefontaine Classic has suspended ticket sales for the invitational track meet scheduled for June 6-7 at Hayward Field in Eugene because of uncertainty about the spread of the coronavirus.

Tickets were to go on sale Friday at the University of Oregon ticket office.

“We made the decision about 11 a.m. today,” said Pre Classic meet director Tom Jordan replying Thursday by text message. “There are so many unknowns at present we thought it best to delay the sale until the situation is clarified.”

The spread of the coronavirus has rocked the sports world, forcing cancellation of NCAA championships events, including the NCAA basketball tournaments and indoor track championships.

Professional leagues, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer have suspended their seasons. The University of Oregon is moving classroom instruction online. The Pac-12 has suspended athletic competition until further notice.

The Pre Classic is part of the Diamond League, a series of world-class meets featuring Olympic level athletes.

It is scheduled to be held this year at Hayward Field, which is the final stages of a complete reconstruction.

(03/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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World Athletics pleased with Oregon21 planning and preparations as five-day venue visit concludes

World Athletics officials have praised the planning and preparations for the World Athletics Championships Oregon21, after a busy week of meetings and venue visits in both Portland and Eugene, Oregon this week.

During the visit, delegates toured the under-construction Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, visited local Eugene hotels, and attended numerous working meetings covering accommodation, broadcast requirements, press operations, event presentation and operations, security and ticketing.

The visiting delegation, comprised of both technical and broadcast experts, had a full agenda, beginning with two days in Portland as they considered course options for the championship marathons and race walks that they will now take to the next World Athletics Council meeting in Nanjing, China, for approval in March. They also met with Travel Oregon, a key stakeholder and driving force behind state-wide involvement in the event, and its wider promotion.

The World Athletics Championships Oregon21 will take place in both Eugene and Portland from 6-15 August 2021, with specific dates for the Portland events still to be determined. It is the first time the outdoor World Championships will be held on USA soil. The World Athletics Indoor Championships took place in Portland in 2016.

“This has been a packed few days but is important to ensure we are all on the same page in terms of expectations,” said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon. “The Local Organising Committee has a unique approach to resource planning, using the skills and expertise of Oregonians and local partners working alongside experienced international staff with major global event production experts.”

“This is the first time ever that our world championships will be held in a stadium purpose-built specifically for athletics, rather than a multi-purpose sports stadium, which has its own challenges in terms of space but will provide a strong legacy for the sport here in the USA. Our tour of the Hayward Field stadium this week was exciting and although still under construction we can all imagine a world class event in 2021. Athletics fans the world over really have something to look forward to.”

Oregon21 CEO Niels de Vos added: “This has been an excellent visit in which we were able to share detailed plans with our counterparts from World Athletics. We are delighted to have secured World Athletics’ endorsement for those plans and will now double down on ensuring that we deliver against them.”

In addition to all the meetings, one presentation that met with great interest was the unveiling of the logo for the World Athletics Championships Oregon21, which takes great advantage of the in-fill opportunity offered by the new World Athletics branding scheme. The Oregon21 logo features artwork from Portland-based artist Blaine Fontana, and depicts a wide range of Oregon iconography. Fontana’s original artwork will become a mural on the side of a building at a location still to be determined in Eugene.

All in all, the week was deemed a great success, with everyone now looking forward to the next site visit, scheduled for June to coincide with the USA Olympic Trials.

(01/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Your guide to this year's Prefontaine Classic

The Prefontaine Classic relocated, temporarily, and it brought the best fields of the Diamond League season with it to Stanford, California on Sunday June 30.

That includes the world’s fastest man and woman this year (Christian Coleman and Elaine Thompson), the athlete who has made the most worldwide headlines this season (Caster Semenya) and a bevy of other reigning Olympic and world champions.

Notably, Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will compete for the first time since 2017. World 100m champions Justin Gatlin and Tori Bowie are in their first Diamond League meets in more than one year. It’s the first Diamond League in two years for 2008 Olympic 400m champ LaShawn Merritt. It’s also the first race of 2019 for Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Pacific.

The Pre Classic has been held annually since 1975 in Eugene, Ore. But Hayward Field’s reconstruction ahead of the 2020 Olympic Trials forced a move to Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford.

Here are the Pre Classic entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Pacific):

Here are 10 events to watch:

Men’s Pole Vault — 12:43 p.m.The Big Three of the event meet for the first time this season: 2012 Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France, 2017 World champion Sam Kendricksand 2018 and 2019 world leader Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, who just turned pro after his freshman year at LSU. Lavillenie has competed just once this season due to injury. Duplantis was beaten at NCAAs by Chris Nilsen (also in the Pre field). But Kendricks has been hot, winning the first three Diamond League pole vaults this season (though Lavillenie and Nilsen weren’t in any of those fields and Duplantis just one).

Women’s High Jump — 1:08 p.m.U.S. champion Vashti Cunningham takes another crack at Russian Mariya Lasitskene, who has just two losses in the last three years. Cunningham is 0-7 versus Lasitskene but has this spring already bettered her top clearance of 2018. Lasitskene, though, appears in top form after taking three attempts at a world record 2.10 meters in Ostrava last week.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase — 1:11 p.m.Six of the eight fastest in history, headlined by world gold and silver medalists Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs. The only time either Coburn or Frerichs won a steeple that included any of the four fastest Kenyans in history was at those 2017 Worlds. Another chance Sunday.

Women’s 100m — 1:27 p.m.NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson would have been the favorite here in her pro debut if not for what happened Friday. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic 100m champion, clocked her fastest time in six years (10.73 seconds) to become the fastest mom in history and No. 2 in the world this year behind Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson. Also watch reigning world champ Tori Bowie, who is coming back from a quad tear and coaching change.

Women’s 800m — 1:47 p.m.Caster Semenya races her trademark event for the first time since a Swiss Supreme Court ruled her eligible while it deliberates on her appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to uphold an IAAF rule capping testosterone in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. The Swiss court ruling applies only to Semenya and not the other Rio Olympic medalists, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, who are also affected by the new rule. So Semenya’s closest threat at Pre is American record holder Ajeé Wilson, but Semenya has won 30 straight 800m races dating to 2015.

Men’s Shot Put — 2:01 p.m.Olympic champion Ryan Crouser had a sterling record at Hayward Field, taking NCAA, Pre Classic and Olympic Trials titles. He’s pretty strong in California, too, recording his personal best (22.74 meters) in Long Beach in April. Nobody has been within a foot and a half of that this season, but the last two world champions (New Zealand’s Tom Walsh and American Joe Kovacs) will try to snap his undefeated 2019 on Sunday.

Men’s 400m — 2:19 p.m.Lost some sizzle with the withdrawal of 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James, who has missed time with Graves’ disease and, more recently, his mother’s death. Instead, the three fastest Americans of the last decade line up — 2018 and 2019 world leader Michael Norman (43.45 from April 20), 2017 world No. 2 Fred Kerley and 2008 Olympic championLaShawn Merritt.

Women’s 200m — 2:25 p.m.Strongest sprint field of the meet: 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, 2015 and 2017 World champion Dafne Schippers and 2018 world leader Dina Asher-Smith. Should produce the fastest time in the world this year, which is currently 22.16, and the favorite for world champs.

Men’s 100m — 2:39 p.m.Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman go head-to-head for the first time since the 2017 Worlds, where Gatlin took gold, Usain Bolt silver and Coleman bronze. Coleman is the world’s fastest man this Olympic cycle (9.79) and this year (9.85). Gatlin, 37, hasn’t broken 10 seconds since beating Bolt but has a bye to defend his title in Doha in September.

Men’s Mile — 2:51 p.m.Olympic 1500m champ Matthew Centrowitz races on the track for the first time since July 22, eyeing his first win in the Pre mile in his sixth try. The foes are formidable, including the top two milers since Rio — Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi — Norwegian brothers Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, who on March 3 broke the 22-year-old indoor mile world record. Nobody has been within four seconds of the outdoor mile word record (Hicham El Guerrouj‘s 3:43.13 in 1999) since 2007.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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The Eugene Marathon is changing courses for 2019, with a new finish line and a new stadium experience

Now the marathon and half-marathon will start just outside Autzen Stadium on Leo Harris Parkway, and end inside the stadium with the finish at the 50-yard line.

With race organizers unveiling necessary changes to its long-established course because of the renovation of Hayward Field, which had been the location of the start and finish line.

“Once Hayward was gone, our dream course was Autzen,” race director Richard Maher said. “We didn’t want it anywhere else.”

Of course, moving the start and finish to the other side of the Willamette River forced some reshaping of the 26.2-mile marathon course and the 13.1-mile half-marathon course.

The race will now go from Autzen to the Ferry Street Bridge, crossing in the northbound lanes into downtown where it will weave from Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue before heading south on Willamette Street to 13th Avenue and east to Agate Street where it will pick up its former pattern to south Eugene and back.

The early portion of the race through downtown is a highlight for race organizers, who envision sidewalks lined with spectators on race morning. It also means closing down some streets typically busy with traffic, though maybe not so much on an early Sunday morning.

“A marathon is going to be disruptive to a community; hopefully it’s a good disruption,” assistant race director Ian Dobson said. “When you look at that course, it’s really designed with two things in mind: It’s going to be cool for runners and also, it doesn’t land lock big chunks of the community.

“We have to get from the north side of the river to the south side of town and back. There’s only so many places you can cross and there’s only so many places that can handle the volume, especially at the beginning.”

The racers will return to the north side by crossing the Autzen Footbridge, with the half-marathoners heading back to the stadium and the marathoners completing the second half of the race on the bike path, though the course no longer goes into Springfield.

Runners will enter Autzen Stadium on the east side, go down the tunnel through the end zone and finish at midfield.

The Finish Line Festival, previously held on the turf fields behind Hayward Field, will be on the south concourse of Autzen.

Maher said despite the changes, the course will still maintain its reputation as being flat, fast and the perfect race for those trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

(03/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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Eugene Marathon

Eugene Marathon

Consistently ranked in the top 15 races most likely to qualify for Boston by Marathon Guide, the Eugene Marathon is a beautiful, fast, USATF certified race with amazing amenities and an unrivaled finishinside Historic Hayward Field. The Eugene Half Marathon starts alongside full marathon participants in front of historic Hayward Field home of five Olympic trials, ten NCAA championships and...

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Will The 2019 Prefontaine Classic be moved to Stanford?

The Prefontaine Classic could be moving south. With its usual site, Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., undergoing a massive reconstruction project, the US’s only Diamond League meet is in need of a new venue for 2019. In track & field circles, one venue’s name has popped up more than any other: Stanford University’s Cobb Track & Angell Field.

Something certainly appears to be in the works between Stanford and Pre as the officials’ calendar for the USATF Pacific Association lists the Prefontaine Classic as one of its meets with Stanford listed in the “site” column. The date of the meet is Sunday, June 30, which is what the Diamond League lists on its official calendar. 

Pre Classic press chief Jeff Oliver wrote that, “The Prefontaine Classic does not have a statement on the location of the 2019 meet at this time.

We are hopeful to make an official announcement later this month.”In addition to the annual Stanford and Payton Jordan Invitationals, Cobb Track & Angell Field hosted the USATF Outdoor Championships in 2002 and 2003."

According to Stanford’s website, it has a permanent capacity of 1,772, which would make it by far the smallest stadium to host a Diamond League (no other venue has fewer than 12,000 permanent seats; Stanford would presumably add temporary seating should it host the meet).

(01/05/2019) ⚡AMP
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The Eugene Marathon is changing it´s course for 2019

The Eugene Marathon is changing course for 2019, with a new route, a new finish line and a new stadium experience. Registration opened Wednesday for the 13th annual race scheduled for Sunday, April 28, 2019 with race organizers unveiling necessary changes to its long-established course because of the renovation of Hayward Field, which had been the location of the start and finish line. Now the marathon and half-marathon will start just outside Autzen Stadium on Leo Harris Parkway, and end inside the stadium with the finish at the 50-yard line. “Once Hayward was gone, our dream course was Autzen,” race director Richard Maher said. “We didn’t want it anywhere else.” Of course, moving the start and finish to the other side of the Willamette River forced some reshaping of the 26.2-mile marathon course and the 13.1-mile half-marathon course. The race will now go from Autzen to the Ferry Street Bridge, crossing in the northbound lanes into downtown where it will weave from Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue before heading south on Willamette Street to 13th Avenue and east to Agate Street where it will pick up its former pattern to south Eugene and back. The early portion of the race through downtown is a highlight for race organizers, who envision sidewalks lined with spectators on race morning. It also means closing down some streets typically busy with traffic, though maybe not so much on an early Sunday morning. “A marathon is going to be disruptive to a community; hopefully it’s a good disruption,” assistant race director Ian Dobson said. “When you look at that course, it’s really designed with two things in mind: It’s going to be cool for runners and also, it doesn’t land lock big chunks of the community. (08/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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USA Track & Field is expected to name the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials

USA Track & Field is expected to name the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials, according to a source with direct knowledge of the decision. The announcement is expected soon, perhaps as early as Thursday. The source was not authorized to discuss the decision and requested anonymity. Calls to TrackTown USA, the Eugene local organizing committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee were referred to USA Track & Field. USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer declined comment. Eugene has staged the Olympic trials six previous times, including in 2008, 2012 and 2016. This would be the first major meet at the reconstructed Hayward Field. The stadium has been torn down and will be rebuilt. The project is expected to be completed in April 2020. (08/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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The Pre Classic will never be the same as they rip down the stadium in Eugene Oregon

This is not right. We can thank Phil Knight for putting up millions of dollars to make this happen.  Peter Thompson posted this photo on Facebook about an hour ago. 

He said," Is this the required careful deconstruction of an historic structure, carefully cataloguing everything as you go and ensuring that timbers and metalwork can be re-purposed elsewhere?" Or, is it, "The wilful destruction of an iconic building?"

Lots of history had been torn away. Phil Knight made millions by using Pre in NIKE advertising.  In his memory he could have built "his" new Track someplace else, as Joe Henderson pointed out months ago, in Eugene and left this stadium standing or at least the track and the east grandstands.  

I know that Phil Knight has donated millions to the University and probably to the city and how could anyone stand in his way.

I also know that Phil Knight and NIKE have done a lot of positive things for running but this is not one of them. 

Peter continued, "Bill Bowerman's favorite seat in the upper row of the East Grandstand has been ripped out, undocumented as it was piled with all the other bleachers - and this is the true respect that Phil Knight has granted to Bill Bowerman." 

I know the new track is going to look amazing but it will no longer be Pre's track.  The Pre Classic will never be the same.  This was a mistake that we let happen.  Hayward Field will never be the same.            

(06/23/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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America’s Best Distance Runner Galen Rupp is misunderstood by many other runners

Writing for Outside, Martin Fritz Huber ponders the lack of warmth some in the running community feel for two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp. Here is Huber's piece, which begins this way: "He's the best American runner in generation. Too bad nobody likes him." I have trouble right away with the premise because, ahem, I like him. Huber suggests Rupp's relative lack of popularity within the running community stems from media inaccessibility, a deficit of charisma and for being part of the Nike Oregon Project, which some believe pushes the boundaries of the rules.  The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, for instance, has had the Oregon Project and coach Alberto Salazar under investigation for at least three years without uncovering enough evidence to make a case. Huber cites a LetsRun.com piece which consulted six experts, including Kara Goucher, Danny Mackey, Steve Magness and three coaches who chose not to be identified, about several topics leading into the Boston Marathon. Only one was quoted as being willing to root for Rupp in the race. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, asking Goucher, Mackey and Magness whether they would root for Rupp or the Oregon Project is like asking three Fenway Park season ticket-holders if they will root for the Yankees. I don't have trouble getting interviews with Rupp, perhaps because I haven't jumped to conclusions about the circumstantial and anecdotal allegations made against him and Salazar.  I find Rupp, who starred at Central Catholic and the University of Oregon, to be very smart, very focused, very competitive, very religious, a little shy, and not all that interested in seeing his name in headlines.  And, let's face it, he and Salazar have been used as punching bags, both in the British tabloid press and on the LetsRun message boards, where anybody with an uninformed opinion and/or an axe to grind can hide behind a pseudonym and bash away. Rupp can be warm when he doesn't feel threatened, and remains exceedingly popular at Hayward Field, where he starred as a Duck and has run regularly since turning pro. (Editor note: the stories we post here about Galen are the most popular.)  (05/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe/ Oregon Live
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I am skipping the biggest meets that remain at Hayward Field, just too sad to go back to this doomed place

Full destruction of Hayward Field is guaranteed, now that the City Council has refused to consider a last-ditch attempt at historic status designation. I’m already distancing myself from the place, skipping the biggest meets that remain, Pre and NCAA.

This isn’t a call to boycott. It’s just too sad for me to go back to this doomed place. There are many happier places in Eugene...Coverage of the total teardown and replacement has overlooked the neighbors.

This might be the right change, but it's in the wrong place. Hayward Field outgrew its location by at least 1972 (the first year I visited there for the Trials). On-street parking was scarce then and has become more so.

The neighborhood has grown ever more crowded, from new construction on and near campus. Neighbors range from barely tolerant of the big events to wishing them away.

Hayward sits amid property owned by UO Physical Education and Recreation — four turf fields and the Rec track. These are heavily used, up to 18 hours a day. I’ve taught a running class there since 2001, and we typically get evicted whenever a big track meet comes to Hayward.

The effect of construction will be devastating on all student uses of these fields and track, and some of that space will never be replaced because there’s no spare room. The end of Hayward would have been the perfect time to locate the new stadium anywhere but here, anywhere with surrounding space.

The old track, minus the stands other than a smaller replica of the East, could have become Hayward Heritage Park — open to students and the public alike. Now it’s too late. Sad that the suggestions of nearest neighbors seemingly never were solicited. 

(Editor's note: Joe Henderson was the editor of Runner's World in the early years and continued to write for the magazine for many years.  He has written many books and is currently coaching his team in Eugene.)

(05/10/2018) ⚡AMP
by Joe Henderson
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Tracktown USA hopes to be selected to host the USATF 2020 Olympic Trails

The University of Oregon says work will begin in June on a renovation of Hayward Field, to be completed in 2020. The plans include a 165-foot, 9-story tower named in honor of Bill Bowerman, the coach who brought Steve Prefontaine to campus and helped Phil Knight launch Nike. The work will be funded by Penny and Phil Knight and more than 50 other donors.  Tracktown USA made it clear Wednesday that they'll be making a bid to bring the 2020 Olympic Trials back to Hayward Field. USATF pulled its original bid from Mount SAC in California, due to concerns over the stadium construction.  Construction on the new Hayward Field will start this summer.  Tracktown USA CEO Michael Reilly says the new-look Hayward Field will be completed in plenty of time to host the 2020 Trials. "We understand everything is going to be ready to go for an entire Track and Field season in 2020," said Reilly. "I can't think of a better way to welcome America's top athletes than to bring them to a new Hayward Field."      (05/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kate Landau win's Eugene Marathon after being forced to drop out of Boston

Two weeks after hypothermia forced her to drop out of the Boston Marathon, Tacoma's Kate Landau added another big win to her resume. Landau, 41, won the Eugene Marathon on Sunday morning in a personal-best time of 2 hours, 35 minutes, 44 seconds. Her time was the second best for a woman in the 12-year history of the event.  She beat the second-place woman (Becki Spellman of Ohio) by more than six minutes. Only six of the more than 800 male runners were faster than Landau. Landau's time earned the top qualifying standard for the 2020 Olympic Trials in Atlanta.  Eugene's historic Hayward Field seemed like a fitting place for Landau to accomplish this goal. It was there in 1996, that she finished second in the 10,000-meter race and sixth in the 5,000 at the NCAA championships while running for Georgetown. She went on to compete at the trials for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.  (04/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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My brother presence electrified Hayward Field in a way that had never been done before, we can't tear down history

My name is Linda Prefontaine. Steve Prefontaine is my brother. I understand there is a City Council meeting on the 23rd and I’m hoping my letter can be read at that time in support of saving the history of Hayward Field. I moved to Eugene in 1973 to continue my education at the University of Oregon. When I moved to Eugene it was a nice, small college town. The atmosphere was laid back and the pace was pleasant. I thought I would live there until I died. Over the years the town has changed in many ways. Some of the changes were necessary because of the economy’s dependence on wood products that the town needed to move away from. Real growth and expansion of the business sector is very evident today. Another fact about the early days of Eugene is that my brother made Hayward Field come to life. His presence electrified Hayward Field in a way that had never been done before. People from all over the world came to Eugene to watch him compete. Today people from all over the world still come to Eugene to walk on the historic track at Hayward Field. They do because Steve Prefontaine ran on that track. They come because there is a history there that is magical and cannot be replaced or duplicated. When I attend track meets at HF I can still feel his presence. If Hayward Field is demolished along with the east grandstands I don’t think as many people will be drawn to come to Eugene and Hayward Field. Why would they? The history of Hayward Field will be taken away for ever. I probably won’t be attending as many meets there. It won’t be the same. I moved away from Eugene last fall, back to Coos Bay. I no longer like what Eugene has become and do not want to live in the atmosphere and the mindset of the city that exists today and what I fear it will become in the future. (04/21/2018) ⚡AMP
by Linda Prefontaine
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Don’t make plans just yet to attend the USATF 2020 Olympic Trials at Mt Sac

The USATF awarded the 2020 Olympic Trials in June of last year to Mt. SAC, located in suburban Los Angeles. The decision, made by USATF's board of directors in an 11-2 vote, came after Eugene had staged the trials successfully at Hayward Field in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Eugene and Sacramento both submitted bids for 2020. In theory, the trials could go to one site or the other if the Mt. SAC renovation gets tied up in court and falls too far behind schedule. The University of Oregon is expected to begin a complete razing and reconstruction of Hayward Field this summer to transform it into something UO Foundation president and CEO Paul Weinhold terms "spectacular." The new Hayward Field is expected to cost more than $200 million, Money for the project has been privately raised, much of it reportedly contributed by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. If the Hayward project begins this summer it is expected to be completed by April of 2020. That might be just in time. (This photo was taken during the women's Steeplechase at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Eugene.) (04/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Olympic Trials Trouble: Let's make Eugene the permanent Trials host site

Are the US 2020 Olympic Trials in Trouble? It's looking less likely all the time that Mt SAC will be hosting our next Oly Trials after multiple stop work orders have been issued. That being said, Eugene too is fighting stadium issues. Personally, I am not at all for the elimination of Hayward Field's historic elements. I am of the sensibility that I'd rather retain the heritage even if that means potentially losing the status of host site for the 2021 World Athletics Championships. Oregon track writer, Ken Goe, guesses that if the 2020 Olympic Trials were moved, it may be to either Sacramento or Drake...neither of which are ideal options. In my track nerd brain, I'd like to see Eugene ditch their big re-do and give the IAAF back their World Championships...and instead host the Trials. In fact, I'd like to see Eugene named as the meet's permanent Trials host site...period. (03/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by Mike Fanelli
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Nick Symmonds Next Marathon Will Be Eugene

Nick Symmonds posted this on twitter today. He has been a world class track runner and decided to run one marathon. That was his plan until he just missed breaking three hours in Honolulu. He wrote, "I will race the Eugene Marathon, finishing at one of my favorite places in the world, Hayward Field. My goal is to break 3 hours and, if successful, it will likely be the last race I ever run. I hope to see you all there for one last party!" (01/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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